Reviews of the Water Industry
Three national reviews of the urban water sector were undertaken independently by different Commonwealth agencies in late 2010 and early 2011. All three examined the Queensland industry. LGAQ has responded to these reports by creating an industry-led program to examine regional collaboration on water services.
The first review was by Infrastructure Australia (IA) and recommended sweeping changes to the Queensland and NSW local government water industries but lacked broad analysis or consultation with the industry. A second report limited to smaller service providers (as part of a series of reviews by the National Water Commission) was more balanced but also lacked meaningful consultation with the Queensland industry. It too recommended the need for sweeping changes, including institutional reform of Queensland’s regional service
The third report based on an inquiry by the Productivity Commission (PC) was released in draft form for further consultation in April 2011 and a full response was collated by qldwater with a complementary response from LGAQ.
In general, the PC inquiry sought meaningful input from a broad range of stakeholders and was more thorough than the other reviews. It openly recognised the necessary diversity of water management approaches nationally. The report called for significant change to the Queensland regional industry and supported many of the changes that have occurred in SEQ:
"There is a strong case for undertaking aggregation of small water and wastewater utilities in regional areas of New South Wales and Queensland. The precise approach — including identification of affected councils and the preferred grouping of councils — should be assessed and determined by relevant State Governments, in consultation with Local Governments and affected communities. This process should consider the relative merits of alternative organisational structures, including:
- county council
- regional water corporation
- regional alliance (or regional organisation of councils).
Reform of the Queensland industry has been a matter of industry discussion for some time, particularly following Local Government amalgamations in 07/08 and the seemingly unending SEQ institutional restructures.
In 2008 an Industry Taskforce convened by qldwater and LGAQ questioned wholesale restructure of the regional water sector and developed a list of 10 Principles as a foundation for any future changes.
The qldwater response to the Draft Report of the PC Inquiry is available below and focuses on errors in information provided about the Queensland industry and the need to acknowledge highly performing service providers across the state and only seek change where real cost benefit analysis has been undertaken with meaningful involvement of local government service providers. The full PC Draft Report can be accessed here
qldwater Response to PC Inquiry Draft Report - Release Date 23-May-2011: - (138KB)
Administrative Arrangements Order - Release Date 04-Apr-2012: - Post Election Announcements Affecting Water and Sewerage. The State Government has this week released Administrative Arrangements Order (No. 3) 2012 to identify which new departments will administer existing legislation. Of particular interest to Water and Sewerage Health (Minister Lawrence Springborg) –Water Fluoridation Act 2008 Environment and Heritage Protection (Minister Andrew Powell) – Environmental Protection Act 1994 Housing and Public Works (Minister Bruce Flegg) – Plumbing and (301KB)
e Flash #120 - 1 June 2011 - Release Date 01-Jun-2011: - 1. qldwater Response to Productivity Commission Draft Report. | 2. Skills Queensland Strategic Investment Fund Launched. | (34KB)
qldwater Response to PC Inquiry Draft Report - Release Date 23-May-2011: - (138KB)
e Flash # 114 - 8 April 2011 - Release Date 08-Apr-2011: - 1. Unrest in Qld Urban Water Industry. | 2. Update on Premier's Announcement of Further Restructure of SEQ Industry. | 3. National Water Commission Review of Urban Water Industry. | (41KB)
e Flash # 113 - 8 April 2011 - Release Date 08-Apr-2011: - 1. Premier Announces SEQ Water Utilities Free to Return to Local Government Management. | (28KB)
e Flash #100 - 9 December 2010 - Release Date 09-Dec-2010: - 1. Infrastructure Charges. | 2. Productivity Commission Review of Urban Water Industry. | (34KB)
e Flash #93 - 4 October 2010 - Release Date 04-Oct-2010: - 1. Release of Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Guidelines for Large Water Service Providers. | 2. SWIM Water Data Due for ALL Queensland Service Providers by 8 October. |. 3. Productivity Commission Inquiry into Australia's Urban Water Sector. | (34KB)
Due Diligence Checklist - Release Date 18-Dec-2009: - Due diligence checklist for local government water utilities developed from the Future f the Queensland Water Industry Taskforce. | Free member download. | (1291KB)
Review of National Water Arrangements - Release Date 01-Dec-2008: - Brief overview of water institutional arrangements across Australia undertaken by qldwater on behalf of the Future of the Water Industry Taskforce. | Free member download. | (1034KB)
10 Principles from Future of Water Industry Taskforce - Release Date 30-Sep-2008: - The Future of the Water Industry (outside SEQ) Taskforce met in Mackay in August 2008 and created general principles that should guide any future changes to the Local Government water industry. These principles were later endorsed by the LGAQ Executive Committee and presented to the Regulator. | Free member download. | (41KB)
Mackay Future of the Industry Meeting - Release Date 01-Sep-2008: - The Future of the Water Industry Outside SEQ Taskforce met in Mackay in August 2008 to discuss institutional models for the industry and general principles on future arrangements for the local government Water Industry. | Free member download. | (825KB)
Briefing on 2007 WOLA Bill - Release Date 17-Oct-2007: - Briefing from the State on Water and Other Legislation Ammendment Bill 2007. Received on 12/1007 and approved 16/10/07 with initial measures taking place on Jan 2008 and other phasing in over several years. (233KB)
Briefing on Water and Other Legislation Amendment Bill - Release Date 17-Oct-2007: - Information from the State Government on the Bill on 12/10/2007 close to the time of its submission. The Bill was approved on 16/10/2007 to take effect in January 2008. (228KB)
Industry Leader's comments on reforms - Patrick Murphy - Release Date 12-Jul-2007: - qldwater approached industry leaders for their views on institutional changes in SEQ and the LG reform process. This is the response from Patrick Murphy, Boonah Shire Council, which is one of the 17 Councils impacted by the changes to SEQ institutional arrangements. Patrick is the Vice President and Treasurer of the Institute of Public Works Engineers Queensland and this year was voted Engineer of the Year by his peers. | Free member download. | (74KB)
Preliminary Advice on Impact of Amalgamations on Other Obligations - Release Date 22-Jun-2007: - Preliminary information colated by qldwater on the impacts of Local Government Reforms and SEQ insitutional changes on mandatory water savings targets and domestic bore restrictions. | Free member download. | (144KB)
Preliminary Advice on Impact of Reforms on Subsidies - Release Date 22-Jun-2007: - Business Water-use Efficiency Program. | Water and Sewerage Program. | Smaller Communities Assistance Program. | Total Management Plans. | STP upgrade program. | Free member download. | (136KB)
Preliminary Advice on Impacts of Amalgamations on Ch 3 Requirements - Release Date 22-Jun-2007: - Preliminary information collated by qldwater on the impacts of Local Government Reforms and SEQ insitutional changes on... Strategic Asset Managment Plans and Audits. | Drought Management Plans. | System Leakage Management Plans. | Water Efficiency Managment Plans. | Free member download. | (158KB)
Industry Leader's comments on reforms - Andrew Ryan - Release Date 31-May-2007: - The Queensland Water Directorate approached a number of industry leaders for their comments and views on the current upheaval of the Queensland Water Industry as a result of changes in SEQ and the LG reform process. This is the response from Andrew Ryan, Director of City Assets, Caloundra City Council and member of the IPWEAQ Board. (38KB)
Industry Leader's comments on reforms - David Wiskar - Release Date 31-May-2007: - The Queensland Water Directorate approached a number of industry leaders for their comments and views on the current upheaval of the Queensland Water Industry as a result of changes in SEQ and the LG reform process. This is the response from David Wiskar - Executive Manager, Wide Bay Water and Chair of the Technical Reference Group of the Queensland Water Directorate. | Free member download. | (38KB)
Industry Leader's comments on reforms - Shaun Cox - Release Date 31-May-2007: - qldwater approached industry leaders for their views on institutional changes in SEQ and the LG reform process. This is the response from Shaun Cox, Director Gold Coast Water, member of the SEQ Water Technical Committee and Chair of the Board of the Water Services Association of Australia. | Free member download. | (31KB)
qldwater Response to Local Government Reform Commission - Release Date 29-May-2007: - qldwater's response to the Commission was brief and focussed on three broad issues, with the aim of complementing the submissions of our members. Read our submission here. (138KB)